Different name, different colours: Ferrari launch their 2013 challenger, the F138

The wraps come off evolutionary new F138

By Mike Wise and Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 05/02/13 9:07am

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Ferrari have unveiled their 2013 Formula 1 car in a ceremony at the marque's headquarters in Maranello.

With Team Principal Stefano Domenicali presiding, the wraps came off the F138 which, like the McLaren launched on Thursday, sported a 'modesty panel' to cover the now-infamous step in its nose.

More strikingly, and even more surprisingly, Ferrari's red livery also bore streaks of black - a change in colour scheme likely to have been implemented in order to disguise the design feautres at the front of the F138 and around its exhaust.

However, there was nevertheless plenty to suggest an evolution of last year's car, with the car once again using a pullrod front suspension - a feature McLaren have taken from their rivals.

With McLaren revealing at Thursday's launch that they have altered their design philosophy to incorporate pullrods on the front of their new MP4-28 charger, Ferrari will continue to use the system at both front and rear.

Detailing the changes incorporated into the F138, the team reported: 'The bodywork elements have been redesigned to allow for changes to the positioning and layout of the exhausts. The dynamic air intake, mounted above the cockpit has been redesigned, as have been the intakes to the side pods, which in turn have also been optimised in aerodynamic terms, while maintaining unchanged the overall cooling system.

'The rear of the car is much narrower and more tapered on the lower part. The configuration of the front and rear wings derives directly from the last versions used on the F2012, partly because development of that car ran all the way to the final race of last season.'

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Yet, as ever, what we're seeing now on the launch-spec car is unlikely to be what we'll see when the teams arrive for the season-opening Australian GP, with the Scuderia promising further 'significant modifications' to their new charger over the coming weeks.

The car is scheduled to debut next week at the first test of the winter at Jerez.

Domenicali wants instant results from the F138 having seen Fernando Alonso come within three points of last year's title despite a sluggish start to the season in the car's predecessor, the F2012.

"The key objective is to immediately deliver a competitive car to the drivers," he said.

"Unfortunately in recent seasons we have not been able to get to the start of the season right on top of what we are doing like our competitors.

"We need to be competitive from the start of the season."

Domenicali also expressed his belief that Ferrari have moved on from last season's disappointment.

"We have come from a season which was very difficult from an emotional point of view. To come second at the last race is always difficult," he said.

"But we have already forgotten those things which left us with regret last year and we have started improving on the positive aspects of 2012 such as reliability and strategy during the races.

"There are plenty of things that allow us to look forward to the new season."

The 2013 car launches
Lotus - January 28th, Enstone.
McLaren - January 31st, Woking.
Force India - February 1st, Silverstone.
Ferrari - February 1st, Maranello.
Sauber - February 2nd, Hinwil.
Red Bull - February 3rd, Milton Keynes.
Mercedes - February 4th, Jerez.
Toro Rosso - February 4th, Jerez.
Caterham - February 5th, Jerez.
Marussia - February 5th, Jerez.
Williams - February 19th, Barcelona.

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